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Office 365 Outlook. How does email in the cloud stack up for SME's?

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Cutting to the chase, if you choose to take your business down the cloud-based-email path, you're going to be paying for more than just email. The Office 365 cloud offering (o365) is subscription-based and bundles together the standard Microsoft suite of products you likely use every day - Outlook, Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc.  

At BMS, we transitioned our entire team to Outlook o365 email back in late 2017. For us it was the start of our Digital Workplace journey. (More on that in future posts.) 

Behind the scenes, our IT team worked through a migration project over several days to move all the email data from our local exchange server (email server) across to Microsoft’s online Exchange server in o365. Microsoft (MS) Exchange is included in the subscription price (of most subscriptions).  
In the short term, this freed up the demand on our local email server, but in the long term we no longer need to spend thousands of dollars on an email exchange server hardware and license upgrade. 
 
You should ask your IT provider to manage a project like this for you to make sure it runs smoothly with minimal disruption to your team's productivity.  
It's really important to have a back up solution in place too. While o365 email removes the physical hardware risk to your email data, it's never going to be 100% risk-free so an additional layer of protection is imperative (and something we insist on for our clients.) 

Once we were up and running, our team had a lot more flexibility. We can now access email: 

  • in our office the same way we always have 
  • via an internet browser from anywhere 
  • via Outlook app on our mobile devices (a game changer for our technicians and sales team) 

Because o365 is cloud based, the software is automatically updated every time a new version is available. The same concept applies to the security requirements that Microsoft maintains. Every time a security 'patch' is released (usually monthly), it's automatically pushed out to all subscribed users. 
 
If you're considering a move to the cloud, we're always here to answer any Office 365 questions you have, so please feel free to call us or email askus@thebmsgroup.com.au 

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